Archive for Design

Nov
25

Being Thankful!

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thanksgiving-turkey-illustration-made-up-words-often-associated-holiday-34042495

Having a heart full of gratitude leads to great things.

Wishing you and your family Thanksgiving love and joy.

Love to all!

Mary and Paul

 

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Nov
18

Where do I sit at Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving is a biggest family and friend event of the year.   This year we are very lucky to have our friends, Andy and Lori, open up their home and table for us, including my sister and her beau.  Have you every gotten to the dinner table and said “Where do I sit”?  Here are a few easy suggestions so everyone knows their seat.

In doing research on Pinterest I found a great site that provided several “printable” Thanksgiving place card/napkin ring ideas, Every Day Dishes by Cheryl Najafi.  Here are two helpful links:  Leaves and Turkey.

Printable by everydaydishes.com

Printables by everydaydishes.com

You can do as little as just print and cut out the patterns or you can be a little more creative with a few crafts supplies.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

The printables are a great way to start.  Here I used the cut out leaves with craft wire and raffia to make napkin rings.

Wire napkin ring with leaf place card. The leaf can easily be removed and replaced for another season or holiday.

Wire napkin ring with leaf place card. The leaf can easily be removed and replaced for another season or holiday.

The turkey template is by far the easiest.   They do need to be cut out.  I liked using an exacto (craft) knife rather than scissors.  They make great place card napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

You can also use the turkey rings as stand up labels for the buffet dishes.  The turkey ring will stand on its own.  But for more stability place a mini pumpkin or small piece of fruit in the ring.  ( I don’t think mini pumpkins exist in Tucson.  I have looked!  I know my NC friends have plenty!)

Three easy napkin/place card/food tags made from printables.

Three easy napkin/place card/food labels made from printables.

It really takes more time to find the ideas and collect the needed supplies than it takes to put these together.  I did not have card stock available for printing so I substituted photo paper.  Photo paper is usually slick and hard to write on so I used a label maker to make the name tags.  A fine point Sharpie pen will work but be careful not to smudge the ink until it dries.

I’m liking both the turkey and the leaf designs.  Still deciding what I will contribute to the Thanksgiving table.  Which one would you want at your table so no one has to ask “Where do I sit?”.

Enjoy your turkey day prep and anticipation.

Mary

Working with you to create your life style!

 

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Nov
11

Tale of the Tubac Table

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Another very busy week! WHEW!  As we continue to get grounded in our new location the days are full and the skies are most often clear blue.  This past week I tried my hand at fused glass art.  Some practice pieces are out of the kiln but nothing to brag about yet.  We made our final furniture delivery to the Dove Mountain project.  The photography is scheduled for next week. On Saturday I found the ONLY wholesale florist in Tucson so I could throw together two flower arrangements for a friend’s 90th birthday. The true highlight of the week was the arrival of our custom-made dining table.  So here is the tale…

While visiting last July, prior to our relocation to Tucson, Paul and I decided to take a ride to a much talked about small village 50 miles south, Tubac Village.  (Go here for more information on Tubac Village)

Art and history are the backbones of the small village in southern Arizona. Truly a place to visit and stroll through the streets, visit the shops and eat at a side walk cafe.

Needless to say we were fairly naive about traveling further south into the desert in the middle of summer. Once we arrived at the village we realized the “error in our ways”.  Because of the extreme heat of the summer afternoons many of the shops close for the summer.  (Lesson learned)  None the less we found plenty to do with many interesting and unique shops and galleries open.  Here is where the story begins…

At the time we visited Tubac I was in the process of the final sorting of what to move from our Lake Gaston home.  We had a very contemporary Scandinavian dining table with a hidden leaf which I loved.  To bring or not to bring to Tucson was the question?  Many of the furnishings for the Southwest are heavy and dark and do not suit me at all.  Bridging the gap between my transitional/contemporary taste to a more regional look was a real challenge.  We browsed at many galleries and shops just exploring.  We found this console table in Tubac Territory Furniture and the concept of blending styles began to develop. Because both of us fell in love with the unique wood craftsmanship of the Dennis Kaufman furniture pieces we placed an order for a hand-made table like this console from Juniper wood, finished natural.  Rarely are we that impulsive but this seems to be all part of the new adventure.

Hand-crafted console Table at Tubac Territory Furniture. This was the inspiration for the dining table.

Hand-crafted console table by Dennis Kaufman at Tubac Territory Furniture. This was the inspiration for the dining table.

I was concerned after we placed the order that it was too far a departure from the furniture we were accustom to.  Would it be too bulky or look too heavy???  Because this piece is custom and the wood and finish need time to cure it took about 12 weeks to be completed.  I was a little impatient around the six weeks point but finally resolved myself to the wait.  Now I know how my clients feel when I inform them of a long lead time. 🙁

Last Friday the table was delivered and it far exceeded my expectation.  It fit the space perfectly!  The wood, the workmanship and style really work.   I had ordered the two china hutches and woven chairs last August at the Las Vegas market and they are perfect compliments.  I love it when a design plan comes together!

Here is our new table in its new home! What a beauty!

Here is our new table in its new home! What a beauty!

 

A close up of the interesting base with lots of knurls and twists without being too heavy.

A close up of the interesting base with lots of knurls and twists without being too heavy.

 

Live edge Juniper table top with book-matched joinery. I don’t ever want to cover it with placemats!

With the arrival of the table we are just about finished up with the interior design of our new home.  It is extremely different but certainly “all me” with lots of color, texture and eclecticism.  We used almost all the art from the lake house so it really is starting to feel like home.  I will give you a virtual tour when I finish a few more touches.

How do you feel about the table?  Do you think I went too overboard with this one?

More and more of you are sending comments about the blogs.  It is so exciting to read your comments.  Keep them coming!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

About six weeks ago I ask for help with selecting the paint color for our Master Bedroom.  The final decision was Benjamin Moore #647.   Read more about the color selections here:  Help me with my MBR design.

Benjamin Moore 647 Fun and Games looks amazing on the master bedroom wall! It brightens the room even in low light conditions.

Benjamin Moore 647 Fun and Games looks amazing on the master bedroom wall! It brightens the room even in low light conditions.

So now we are finally pulling it all together.  The wall is painted and the fabrics are selected.  Now what?

It is quite a long story how we acquired a very oversized mirror (slightly damaged in transit).  I fell in love with the rustic texture of the frame and the massive size. The mirror needed a large bare wall.

Rustic 64" diameter oversized mirror by LazySusan

Rustic 64″ diameter oversized mirror by LazySusan

I needed a headboard in the MBR and had a large bare wall.  This is the beginning of the plan.

Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

So how do you create a headboard and incorporate the mirror?  I first made a template using the mirror to determine the shape of the headboard and tried it behind the bed.

Cut out headboard template taped to wall.

Cut out headboard template taped to wall.

Now the fun begins! 🙂  Paul and I constructed the headboard frame out of plywood and foam insulation board to decrease the weight and give it a thick side edge.  The frame was covered with a thin foam mattress pad and wrapped with quilt batting.  The fabric was then pulled tight over the frame and stapled in place. ( The fabric color did not photograph well.  It is actually a more muted shade of the wall color).  I had planned on adding large nailhead trim to accent the headboard shape. As it was coming together I decided to keep the headboard surface unembellishedTake note to highlight the texture of the mirror. (If you would like more information about the headboard construction please leave a commit and I will send you more information).

The biggest challenge of the whole project was hanging the mirror and the headboard.  So here it is!

Master bedroom headboard wall with mirror and accessories.

Master bedroom headboard wall with mirror and accessories.

As shown in the blog Help me with my MBR design we used the very pastel coverlet and shams accented by stronger, brighter colored pillows.  Also, we added the striped fabric element to the waterfall bench at the end of the bedheadboard-large-scale-mirror-pillow-texture-Rizzy-waterfall-bench-Robertallenfabric-project-tucson-smallabode

Take note that even this month’s editions of two popular home magazines used the colors of this bedroom.  The roses were just picked from my desert rose garden. 🙂

House Beautiful and Residential Lighting magazines used the bedroom colors in their latest editions!

House Beautiful and Residential Lighting magazines used the bedroom colors in their latest editions!

Still a few details to add.  Pillow shams are being made using the bench fabric to give the bed more definition.  Still not sure if the headboard needs nailhead or fabric trim???  What do you think?

I hope you don’t find this “huge” mirror headboard too “off the wall”.  I think it came together well and certainly filled the large bare wall!

Let me hear your comments-good or bad!  Suggestions always welcome.

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles, Inc.

 

Oct
28

Cottage Guest Bath-Industrial Style

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Before I begin to share the latest elements of the small cottage project I have to say I had two wonderful weeks touring from Kingston NY, Blacksburg VA, High Point NC to beautiful Lake Gaston NC.  Each stop was filled with many different activities but the BEST was being so warmly embraced by all my family and friends.  THANK YOU!!!

Now it is back to work and the demolition is occurring at the small house project, now being know as the Cottage House.  If you missed the first segment you can catch it here:

Small House Cottage Project

Today the client and I visited the local Ferguson Supply showroom to look at an “industrial base” pedestal sink.  She had spotted it last week when I was away.  I was a little skeptical about it until I saw it today.  If you are looking for “industrial style” this piece really fits the bill.  It is manufactured by Stone Forest.  We are researching the vessel sink options.  It will most likely be a grey/black granite similar to the sink in the lower right of this picture.

Inspiration for the Industrial Look Concept from Stone Forest .

Inspiration for the Industrial Look Concept from Stone Forest .

We selected the Brizo Odin through-the-wall vessel sink faucet to compliment the base.

Brizo Odin Vessel Sink Faucet in Matte Black

Brizo Odin Vessel Sink Faucet in Matte Black

Tonight I did a little more research for various other elements to use.  Here are my suggestions:

Black Oval Mirror with Silver Accents to compliment Industrial Pedestal Sink

Black Oval Mirror with Silver Accents to compliment Industrial Pedestal Sink

Rustic Pendant in Black Iron with 100W Edison Bulb Vanity Pendant Option 8" D

Rustic Pendant in Black Iron with 100W Edison Bulb Vanity Pendant Option 8″ D

Black Wire Cage Vanity Pendant Option 10" D

Black Wire Cage Vanity Pendant Option 10″ D

This is going to be so COOL!  Loving this look.  This is the first time I’ve tried to pull something like this together in a very small space.  I think the small scale of the pedestal sink will really open up the small bathroom.

I found another light fixture that works well with this theme as an option for over the small breakfast table.

Metal Orb Wire Cage Large Pendant

Metal Orb Wire Cage Large Pendant

What do you think about this look?  It may not be for you but you must admit the rustic iron base of the pedestal sink is really unique!  I am looking forward to seeing the outcome.

Let’s hear your comments!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary sherwood Lifestyles Inc

252-308-2694

 

 

Oct
21

High Point Market Highlights

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Stop three on the “Where is Mary?” two week tour was High Point NC and a visit with my BFF, Patsy Cuthrell.  I spent three days at the International Home Furnishings Center for the Fall market.  I figured I have been to this semi-annual market about 55 times! OMG!

What’s “new at market” includes lots of mixed textures, subtle re-emergence of green, wood/natural accents and a peacock theme (maybe, not sure about this one).

Mixed materials of natural woven shades, subtle gray upholstery and green accents create a pleasing contrast.

Mixed materials of natural woven shades, subtle gray upholstery and green accents create a pleasing contrast at CR Laine

Rustic wood block wall paired with tailored flannel bedding by Barclay Butera for Eastern Accents.

Rustic wood block wall paired with tailored flannel bedding by Barclay Butera for Eastern Accents.

Favorite market find! Convertible dining table with billiard table hidden under the removable top. Available in several finishes.

Favorite market find! Convertible dining table with billiard table hidden under the removable top. Available in several finishes.

Wooden book wall shelves by Gold Leaf Designs

Wooden book wall shelves by Gold Leaf Designs

Color!!! Accent a bookcase or a whole wall with colored book bindings created from salvaged library books.

Color!!! Accent a bookcase or a whole wall with colored book bindings created from salvaged library books.

Glass peacock accent table by Global Views

Glass peacock accent table by Global Views

Could you use any of these products in creating your lifestyle?  Let me hear your thoughts!

Spending my last leg of my travels at our beautiful Lake Gaston home! Nice to be back by the water.  My flower pots held on for me to see them.  What a pleasure!

Keep the comments coming!

Until next week…

Mary

 

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Inc.

 

Categories : Design
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Oct
14

The Wednesday Weekly-Quick Travel Tibits

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As most of you know I am traveling to four different Eastern towns in the next few weeks.  Just left our son’s new loft in Kingston NY.  Loved the artsy little town on the Hudson River.  Weather was amazing!  Colors just beginning to pop.  Loved the city murals and the lighthouses on the Hudson.

RONDOUT LIGHTHOUSE

RONDOUT LIGHTHOUSE

ESOPUS MEADOW LIGHTHOUSE

ESOPUS MEADOW LIGHTHOUSE

ARTIST MURAL ON BUILDING IN KINGSTON NY

ARTIST MURAL ON BUILDING IN KINGSTON NY

I have a few minutes in the Charlotte NC airport and am getting some walking in and looking for healthier food.  Cinnabon just doesn’t do it for me anymore. 🙁  Found a place off the beaten path call 1897 Market (towards Concourse A).  Yay! Lots of salads, yogurt with mixed fruit/nuts to add and a wide assortment of sandwiches.  Nice to have some options in the maze of fast foods in the airport.

1897 MARKET AT THE CHARLOTTE AIPORT

1897 MARKET AT THE CHARLOTTE AIPORT

I’m running out of time between flights but found this cute chair attached to a rolling bag in a shop window. “As Seen on TV”or should I say “As Seen at the Airport” 🙂  This is a nice option to move a tired chid through the airport.  I wish there was someone who would let me sit in one of these and move me through the High Point market later this week. (Haha)

RIDE ON CARRY ON

RIDE ON CARRY ON

This is all for now!

Thanks for reading, thanks for following, thanks for commenting!  Love it!

Mary

 

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Oct
06

Small House Kitchen Project Planning

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I started working on a small house project in our new neighborhood.  It will not be used as a full time dwelling but more like a weekend hide-a-way!  The plan was to keep it simple but it continued to grow (as they all do).  We are updating the entire 1000 sf but this week I focused on the kitchen.  The client wanted white cabinets, white stone countertops and white subway tile.  Somewhere along the way a 30″ red Viking range jumped into the plan.  So cool!

Here are pictures of the exterior, the “BEFORE” and the proposed “AFTER”.  There is still much to do but this is a start on the plans.  Walls will be painted, hardware to select, etc., etc., etc.  In case you are wondering; a few walls will be removed and the existing laundry room will be turned into a refrigerator/pantry space with counters for buffet service.  More on that part of the project later.

Exterior of this small home for weekend get-a-ways!

Exterior of this small home for weekend get-a-ways!

BEFORE-Kitchen that has to go!

BEFORE-Kitchen that has to go!

Perspective of new kitchen with RED Viking range!

Perspective of new kitchen with RED Viking range!

The white kitchen needed that RED pop!  It was the client’s idea.  I can’t take credit.

Do you love or hate the red range?  What would you do to add color to the space?  Let’s hear your thoughts!

Happy dreaming and scheming about your next project!

Mary

PS:  For the next two weeks I am traveling to NY, VA and NC including LKG.  Really looking forward to it.  After visiting our son in NY, my brother and family in Blacksburg, my BFFL, Patsy, for the High Point Furniture market I will take a few days to rest and recuperate with friends at Lake Gaston. 🙂  With all of this I will post a little on FaceBook but can’t promise the weekly blog (we’ll see).  Until next time don’t stop reading and sharing this blog.  I love your comments!!!!!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

 

 

 

 

Sep
30

Thank you!!! (And a Few Display Tips!)

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Thank you for the tremendous response from last week’s cry for help.  I have made thousands of paint decisions through the years but I became very indecisive about the MBR wall.  From your responses I was spurred on to make a decision. It was a very close tie for these two colors,  West Coast and Fun and Games.  Although I loved the deeper blue color ( Downpour Blue) it was too dark for my intrinsic love of color.  To read more about the paint color dilemma and all the comments check out last week’s blog  http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/help-me-with-my-mbr-design/ .

My choice was Benjamin Moore Fun and Games.  Here is Paul coming to my rescue to finish the very tip-top part of the 10 high wall.  Thank You PS!

Paul helping me finish up the wall in the very high spots! Thank you PS!

Paul helping me finish up the wall in the very high spots! Thank you PS!

Now I am changing the subject to something I am very passionate about…Lighting!  Before you stop reading take a look at the before and after of the display cabinet I showed you a few weeks ago, with and with out interior lighting.  (for the original mention of the display cabinets please see http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/reclaimed-oak-works-it-way-into-this-design/ )

Display cabinet without interior lighting!

Display cabinet without interior lighting!

Display cabinet with LED ribbon tape lighting! What a difference!

Display cabinet with LED ribbon tape lighting! What a difference!

Cabinet Ribbon Tape Lighting

Cabinet Ribbon Tape Lighting

Small LED ribbon strip placed behind the front frame of the display case.

Small LED ribbon strip placed behind the front frame of the display case illuminated.

Love the LED ribbon lights!  They can be incorporated in so many different lighting applications.  We found this kit at LED Ribbon Lighting  .  It was very reasonably price and easy to install.  Included in the kit was a touch control dimmer to control brightness of the LED’s.

Here are a few other things I used for display and to organize the interior of the the display units.

Increase storage space with an acrylic riser for two tiers of glassware.

Increase storage space with an acrylic riser for two tiers of glassware.

Display platters on easels with other serving pieces for a pleasing display and easy accessibility.

Display platters on easels with other serving pieces for a pleasing display and easy accessibility.

Squeeze in more vertical storage space with an acrylic riser or small shelf.

Squeeze in more vertical storage space with an acrylic riser or small shelf.

 

Enough for this week!  More MBR finishing touches including an unusual head broad coming soon!

Let me know if you like my paint choice and the fabulous lighting in the display cases.

Happy creating your lifestyle!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Categories : Design
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Sep
23

Help me with my MBR design!

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This is approximately Week Seven of our new house makeover.  Slowly but surely each week there is progress (sometimes way too slowly).  This week I am trying to pull together all the elements for our MBR.  The storage platform bed finally arrived after a month of the mattress on floor :(.  Now what?  Here is the pitiful current state of our bedroom.  I am embarrassed to even show you (but I thought it might make you feel a little better about how things may look while your home is in design chaos). So here is the big BEFORE reveal!

Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

BEFORE: Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

The wall with the light chests is way too white.  As with any design project I always start with the “given(s)”.  Givens are any elements that steer you into a design direction.   The givens here are the bed, chests, lamps and a few accent pillows.  The decisions to be made:  the color to paint the wall and the accent fabrics.

The "Givens"-lamps, chests and pillows.

The “Givens”-lamps, chests and pillows.

This white wall is crying for color.  The room appears dark at times until the late afternoon.  I had thought a dark paint such as Benjamin Moore  Down Pour Blue would be a nice contrast to the light furniture but a dark blue can really absorb the light in a room.  I am leaning toward a gray or medium seafoam paint. The coverlet is also a pale seafoam color with nice quilted texture details.

Textured coverlet with quilted, raised details.

Textured coverlet with quilted, raised details.

Here are a few paint ideas:

Paint Options

Paint Options

Which paint color do you suggest?

The fabrics (shown in front) will be used to cover a bench at the end of the bed and other accents.  We have shutters at the windows so I am not planning any window treatments just yet.  The pillows (shown in back) are items I have on hand from other projects.  Here is the close up of the fabrics and pillows.

Close-up of a few fabric options.

Close-up of a few fabric options.

How would you use the stripe and the leaf patterned fabrics?

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.  Need to make some decisions!

Thanks for your help!

Mary

 

Sep
15

Glacier and LED Lighting

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WOW-just got back from an awesome trip hiking in Glacier National Park!  What an experience!  Hiked about 50 miles in 5 days.  Didn’t know my body could do it!  If you ever have the chance to visit this place try to get out of the car and hit the trails.  So many wonders await!  (There are many short hikes with gradual climbs)  Our travel guides, Angela and Caitlin with Backroad Adventures were the best!  Thanks for making our trip the best!  Here are some of my favorite pictures.  (Check my FB page compliments of Brenda Morrison for more).

Glacier National Park Iceberg Lake

Glacier National Park Iceberg Lake

Glacier National Park Two Medicine Lake

Glacier National Park Two Medicine Lake

Our great traveling buddies, Brenda and Quinn Morrison! Couldn't have made the 10 mile hike to Iceberg Lake without them!

Our great traveling buddies, Brenda and Quinn Morrison! Couldn’t have made the 10 mile hike to Iceberg Lake without them!

NOW-back to a design tip.  Since returning from our trip we have unpacked all the cartoned art from the move.  Working on where to put it.  🙁  More on that later.  We were in need of light bulbs for several new lamps.  If you have followed our earlier blog on lighting,  Brilliant Lighting Ideas , you know I am a big LED lighting fan.  I have found a new LED bulb which I love to use in lamps.  It is hard to see the difference in these photos but trust me they are much better than CFL’s and earlier edition LED bulbs.  This new Phillips bulb has a plastic cover and stay cool to the touch.  The light is softer and more diffused than the CFL.  Here are the pictures and bulb labels so you can try to envision the difference.  Your light bulb investment will be greater but the results are worth it.  Lighting is SO important.

Lamp not lighted!

Lamp not lighted!

Lamp with LED bulb

Lamp with LED bulb

Favorite LED Bulb

Favorite LED Bulb

Lamp with CFL bulb.

Lamp with CFL bulb.

CFL Bulb provided by a lamp company.

CFL Bulb provided by a lamp company.

Have you tried any new LED lighting you love.  Let us hear from you!  Always love your comments.

Have a great week!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Design
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This week marks just over four weeks since we arrived in Tucson.  Soooo much has transpired since then.  For those of you who have seen our lake house you know how many wonderful built-ins and storage cabinets it has.  Moving to a smaller place with not much storage has been a challenge.  Two new glass display cabinets arrived last week. Yay!!!  Finally we can unbox the serving pieces and barware from the lake house.  Here is one of the cabinets.diningroom_reclaimed_oak_glass_cabinet_closed_Tucson

I found these display cabinets at the Las Vegas market made of reclaimed, antique oak by Home Trends and Design.  With these additions our new place is coming together as a VERY eclectic mix of contemporary and wood elements.  I am liking the look so far.  I cannot reveal the whole space just yet.  There are still several pieces missing including a custom-made live edge dining table with a gnarly wooden base.  You and I both will have to wait until October to see that piece.

To lighten up the cabinets I decided to line the back walls.  I covered “Eucaboard” hardboard (made from eucalyptus) with a cotton geometric, aqua fabric (taking far too much care to match the pattern).  This board is only 1/8″ thick and there was enough room to place one large piece of covered board behind the (removable) shelves. diningroom_reclaimed_oak_glass_cabinet_interior_finishedwith fabric_fabric_interior-back

The fabric addition really did helped but the interior still needs lighting.  Of course, the LED light strips have already been ordered.

So now the fun begins…what to do with all this stuff???diningroom_stuff_storage-reclaimed_oak-glass_front-cabinet

When we got down to the last box I knew we were missing something.  Sadly to say one cabinet and one deep drawer were overlooked when the lake house was packed.  So, my favorite serving platters are still residing in NC. 🙁  We were beat by the end of the packing and loading days and forgot to check every single storage spot before we left the house. The saving grace is the house is still listed for sale.  The new owner may just inherit some great serveware if I can’t get there to retrieve it before then.diningroom_glass_displaycase_storage_serveware_platters_forgotten If you haven’t seen the drone/video of our Lake Gaston house, take a look.  Share it with anyone you think may like to buy or rent it.  We would appreciate any sharing!

Sherwood Lake House Drone Video

Videographer:  Harris Welles Photography

The end of this week we are off to Glacier National Park for a hiking excursion with our friends Quinn and Brenda (Blackburn) Morrison.  I hope to have some stunning photos of this magnificent park.  It looks like there might even be a little snow.  I am not sure I will be posting anything next week.  We will be deep in the park!

Your comments are so fun to read.  It keeps me connected with our lake family and friends.  Keep them coming!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

 

 

There is never a dull moment as we create our new lifestyle. We have been busy exploring new things, trying different food and working up our stamina for our upcoming hike in Glacier National Park the first part of September.  Our newly found favorite hiking spot is Catalina State Park just about 5 miles from our home.  5 AM sunrise hikes help us beat the heat.  Here is a recent picture of one of our favorite areas in the park.Catalina_State_Park_stream-sunrise_hiking_beautiful_Catalina_mountains_tucson-AZ

Although we have found time to play and enjoy our new surroundings, project work must go on.  Several months ago we told you about our project here in Tucson at Dove Mountain.  If you missed that post or want to read it again here it is:   http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/design-inspired-by-the-mountains-of-the-southwest/.  We are still working on additional furnishings and finishing touches.  Here is a sneak peek of a few of the areas as they are coming together.  (Please remember they are not finished and the photography if from my phone).

The living room fireplace wall is expansive with 20′ ceilings and great built-ins around the fireplace.  The client wanted to bring in more light and color.  The bookcases did not have lighting. The dark wood shelves and rich mocha brown walls did not work in the scheme of lightening things up.  First the walls were painted with Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque.  I thought the back off the bookcases needed some oomph!  I found this beautiful Candice Olsen wallcovering by York to add just the right amount of light, texture and sheen.  Next came the installation of LED ribbon light strips on the underside of each shelf.  WOW-what an impact.  We are still working on the accessories. We used many of the owner’s glass art pieces.  The placement and assortment will be tweaked and added to as we proceed.  I will elaborate more on the fabrics, rug, etc. in a future post when I have better photography and the shelves are FINISHED.LR_large_bookcase_led_lighting_metallic_wallcovering_accessories_DoveMtn

Here is a small area which we bumped up a notch or two with another Candice Olsen wallcovering by York.  This pale “aqua/teal” textured wallcovering set the tone for the rest of the bedroom fabrics, accessories and rug.  We were lucky to find the accessories we used here in the owner’s stash.  The only thing new in the niche is the wallcovering.  Just goes to show what an impact wallcovering can have.  MBR_niche_Wallcovering_textured_lighting_DoveMtn_accessories_owners

Here  are close ups of these stunning wallcoverings.  The pictures really do not capture the depth, sheen, texture and detail of these wallcoverings.

LR Wallcovering with metalic accents.

LR Wallcovering with metallic accents.

MBR Niche Wallcovering with raised texture.

MBR Niche Wallcovering with raised texture.

That is all for now.  So much more to come.

Thanks for joining me here this week.  Love the recent comments!  Keep them coming!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyles!

 

Aug
19

New Look-New Lifestyle!

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Here is the new look for Mary Sherwood Lifestyles.  The logo and site revisions were created by our son, Jake.  He incorporated the abstract red tulip, my favorite flower, in the logo.  Thanks, Jake!!!  How do you like the new look?  Comments please!

This week has been a full one!  We traveled to Santa Monica to visit Jake and Elif.  Always love our visits.  Here’s a quick re-cap.

Beautiful view of the Pacific coast from our hiking trails in Chambless Park, Malibu.

Beautiful view of the Pacific coast from our hiking trails in Chambless Park, Malibu.

Jake, Elif, Paul and me at Pacific Coast El Matador Beach with amazing rock formations in Malibu, CA

Jake, Elif, Paul and me at Pacific Coast El Matador Beach with amazing rock formations in Malibu, CA

My "must" stop at the Saturday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market.  The heirloom tomatoes are the best!

My “must” stop at the Saturday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market. The heirloom tomatoes are the best!

Had dinner at the Superba Food and Bread restaurant.  The building use to be an auto body shop.  Glass roll up doors replace the garage doors!  Great re-use of an old building.

Had dinner at the Superba Food and Bread restaurant. The building use to be an auto body shop. Glass roll up doors replace the garage doors! Great re-use of an old building.

Back home in Tucson, on my morning walk, I spotted a Saguaro cactus that was blooming!

Back home in Tucson, on my morning walk, I spotted a Saguaro cactus that was blooming!

Getting close to sharing a few pictures of our new home.  Still waiting for some furniture to arrive.  Also, tying up loose ends at the Dove Mt home out here.  More to come in a few weeks.

Would love to hear from you!   Comments please!

Mary

Categories : Design
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Several months ago I shared my blog about A Design Career that Was Meant to Be.  If you missed it here it is. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/a-design-career-that-was-meant-to-be

Since then I have been searching for my childhood scrapbook that I mentioned in that blog.  I found it!!!  Boy was I surprised about the  origin of “my design career that was meant to be”.  The scrapbook was not dated but one of the pasted pictures was a 1956 Chevy.  That makes me about five years old.  Who would have ever guessed that was just the beginning of all the colors boards I would create in my design career.  Destiny certainly speaks through these pictures of contemporary styles, use of color, love of flowers (especially red tulips-my favorite) and design concepts (such as the use of three pillows). Enjoy the pictures of interior styles in the mid-1950’s which today is called mid-century design!

All of these pictures are pages of my childhood scrapbook!

Mary's Childhood Scrapbook of the 1950'S

Mary’s Childhood Scrapbook of the 1950’s

1956 Chevy

1956 Chevy

Potted plants on the patio.  Today I can't live without something potted and blooming on my deck!

Potted plants on the patio. Today I can’t live without something potted and blooming on my deck!

Red tulips of the 50's.  If you have ever seen my Spring tulips they are always red!!!

Red tulips of the 50’s. If you have ever seen my Spring tulips you know they are always red!!!

Pillows in groups of three!  I didn't need to learn this in design school!

Pillows in groups of three! I didn’t need to learn this in design school!

This 1950's contemporary kitchen design led to the contemporary kitchens of today.

This 1950’s contemporary kitchen design led to the contemporary kitchens designs of today.

Colorful 1950's bathrooms!

A Colorful 1950’s bathroom!

Contemporary house with people pursuing their lifestyle such as golfing.  That what Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Design is all about!

Contemporary house with people pursuing their lifestyle such as golfing. That’s what Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Design is all about!

After seeing how my early childhood lead me to this place I realize how important the early years of life must be.  I am so fortunate to have a successful design career and live the passion that has always been inside me.

Follow your heart, find your passion, create your lifestyle.

Thank you for traveling back into the future with me!

Mary

Jul
07

This and That, DIY and More!

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What an incredible week!  We have been in our little Tucson hacienda and busily preparing the house for our move.  Here is just a few of the things we have been working on.

Customizing our closet was number one on the priority list.  Scaling back on closet size is going to be a challenge but good storage will help.  Here is the before, during and after.tucson_diy_update_closet_system_before_after_organization

We have been working with a painter that is rather slow. If you know me, then you know I want to move on and finish the project. The painting is near completion so I clean all the switch/outlet covers and gradually they are being replaced when the room is finished.  Can’t believe how many plates there were!TUCSON-DIY-HOUSE-UPDATES-SWITCH-PLATES

Removed the dreaded vertical of 19__ something!  I don’t even like new verticals, so these had to go. We replaced them with my favorite shading product, Silhouettes!Tucson 06 2015 DYI1

We have five smoke detectors, all of which were almond or very “yellowed” white.  We took them all down.  I carefully covered all the ports etc. with masking tape (not to interfere with the functioning) and sprayed painted them all white.  (Left one is freshly painted)  What an improvement!TUCSON_DIY_UPDATE_SMOKE_DETECTOR-COVER_PAINT

One more project is to try to rehab some of the interior door hardware from worn shiny brass to a brushed nickel.  I “only” have 13 sets.  Wish me luck on this one!Tucson_update_DIY_painting_door-hardware

Next on our agenda is driving back to Lake Gaston to purge, purge purge in preparation for the movers!

Have a great week!

Mary

 

 

Categories : Design
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Jun
24

Master Bedroom Makeover-Before and After

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Today I felt like Libby Langdon and her NBC TV show Daykeover.  In about three hours we transformed this master bedroom from blah to beautiful!  Just like on TV, this does not completely happen in a day.  It takes several months of planning to pull this all together.

The client built this wonderful new lake house about a year ago.  All the walls were painted white.  She consulted us to pick all the interior paint colors.  It turned out to be an amazing color palette of blues, taupe and grey.

Benjamin Moore Soft Chinchilla, 2135-50 was selected for the master bedroom.  There was no need for custom bedding because the owner’s two black labs often share the bedroom.  With the paint color in hand we set out to find complimentary bedding, furnishings and accessories at the spring High Point market.  After several months it all was ready for the install!

Benjamin Moore Paint Soft Chinchilla 2135-50

Benjamin Moore Paint Soft Chinchilla 2135-50

Here is the before of the room with the walls painted.  The goal was to incorporate the white headboard.

MBR BEFORE

MBR BEFORE

Here is the MBR after the three hour makeover!

MBR Makeover in a Day

MBR Makeover in a Day

What do you think?  It seems the last bedroom I showed you was also done in a “blue” palette.  Even with trends constantly evolving our lake clients continue to enjoy the peaceful feeling of blues.

Sweet serenity!

Mary

 

Jun
16

Unusual Options for Fire Screens

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I’ve been working on the interiors of a home in the Dove Mountain area of Tucson.  We have selected the paints, wallcoverings and fabrics.  It is all starting to come together.  My client is very excited I will be back in Tucson shortly to start adding the finishing details.  This has been a work in progress since my last visit in February. I am looking forward to adding the accessories which are the “jewels” of the project.

One accessory often overlooked is a fire screen to cover the firebox.  There are three fireplaces in this home. All are gas-fired and different sizes.  When selecting the screens to add interest to these “black rectangular” openings I considered several factors-size of the opening, the size of the hearth, the texture/color of the fireplace surround and the type of firebox, gas or wood burning.

Here are a few fireplace screen options I found for this project.

Antique Art Deco Reproduction  Fire Screen

Antique Art Deco Reproduction Firescreen

The fire screen above is a beautiful piece but the expense would have stressed the budget since we had three screens to source.

Traditional three-sided fire screens from Cyan Designs

Traditional three-sided fire screens from Cyan Designs

The screens above are wonderful options for a wood burning firebox.  They are functional and decorative with mesh screening to contain the sparks.  Because the fireboxes for this project are all gas-fired we did not need the screening.

Our objective was to provide a decorative screen in front of the fire boxes.  With that in mind I explored options for using metal art pieces as fire screens.  Here are two pieces we are having converted into screens for this project.  Our local welder is adding metal feet so the wall art will stand.

Mixed metal wall art to be used in front of a smaller firebox opening.

Mixed metal wall art to be used in front of a smaller firebox opening.

Metal wall art with a linear, natural design to be used in front of a wide firebox with an interesting concrete tile surround.

Metal wall art with a linear, natural design to be used in front of a wide firebox with an interesting concrete tile surround.

Using wall art and converting them into fire screens is often very budget friendly even with the cost of the conversion.  One word of caution…any material place in front of a fire-box must be fireproof. If the fireplace is wood burning, a screening mesh needs to be used behind the decorative front for safety.

Decorative wall art converted into a mesh backed fire screen for wood burning fireplace.

Decorative wall art converted into a mesh backed fire screen for wood burning fireplace.

Here is a fire screen we created several years ago with metal screening added for this wood burning fireplace.

Fire screens…safety first, decorative accent second.  Which is your favorite?

I still need one more fire screen for this project…any suggestions?

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles-working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

Categories : Design
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Please accept my apologies for the “missed” Design Wednesday Wisdom. Technical difficulties just jumped in the way. So here is “Catch Up Thursday”!

I recently attended a textile fair and found lots of fabulous new fabrics that will be showing up in the next few months.  But we stumbled onto something that has amazing possibilities far beyond simple nailhead trim for an upholstered chair.

Heico Fasteners could be equated to a “candy store” for a creative designer’s mind.  Their exhibit had thousands and thousands of nailheads and adaptors with several ways to expand the use of the “sometimes” ordinary nailhead.

Five ways to use nailhead and doodads:

  1. Tufting buttons for headboard and cornices
  2. Embellishment for lamp shades
  3. Drawer pulls by adding an adaptor
  4. Napkin rings by adding an adaptor
  5. Add a few metal doodads to sandals and handbags

Here are a few pictures from their exhibit:

Heico Fasteners Display

Colors and all shapes and sizes!

Colors and all shapes and sizes of nailheads!

Imagine the possibilities of adding nailheads to a lamp shade!

Imagine the possibilities of adding nailheads to a lamp shade!

Large and small, all shapes and sizes with screw backs to be adapted as drawer pulls.

Large and small, all shapes and sizes with screw backs to be adapted as drawer pulls.

This is just a peek at the many uses of these fasteners, etc.  When I get some parts and pieces I will show you how this all goes together.

Happy creativity!!!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Categories : Design
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Make your guests feel like they are visiting a resort spa at Lake Gaston with these easy tips:

  1. Keep the paint color cool and refreshing like Benjamin Moore Antiguan Sky, 2040-60.  Bright colors provide too much energy. Benjamin-moore-2040-60-antiguan sky
  2. Keep the bedding simple.  A bright white matelasse coverlet, jumbo sham, crisp white sheets with aqua embroidery and a few aqua pillows worked well in this space.  The bedding is all washable for easy clean up after a visit from friends and their petsspalike-guestbedroom-peaceful-art-embrodiered-linens-companyc
  3. Use window coverings with “black out” lining for a welcome touch when guests are trying to rest and rejuvenate.
  4. Place lighting and a bedside table on each side of the bed for late night reading and a surface for essentials like a glass of water and glasses.
  5. Use minimal accessories so as not to add too much clutter.
  6. Add restful art to finish the space.
  7. Provide extra covers with a throw or blanket for comfort on chilly nights.
  8. Spa-like-GBR-aqua-paint-white-linens-throw-companyc

    NEW SPA-LIKE GUEST BEDROOM

For this room we incorporated the owner’s four poster bed and original art over the bed.

BEFORE

BEFORE

Here is the BEFORE!  Although this room was bright and fun it needed to be toned down to create a spa-like experience.

Let us know if you like to New spa-like make over!

Wishing you and your guests sweet dreams!

Mary

Charlotte, Autumn, Michelle, and Peggy – Salted Rim Designs/Mary Sherwood Lake Living

May
13

A Design Career That Was Meant to Be

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This Design Wednesday Wisdom is a not much about design but a lot about my career in interior design.

I write this on the cusp of a new beginning for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  As of Friday, May 15, the business will change ownership.  Charlotte Smith plans to keep the MSLL traditions alive as she takes over as the new owner.  I am sure the business will evolve over time, but for now look forward to a re-stocked showroom, a new special events calendar and other great things.  We will keep you updated over the next few weeks as the changes occur.  I will remain here during the transition and to complete existing design projects, so don’t say your goodbyes just yet!

Many of you have read about my background on the bio page of our blog, so I am not going to bore you with all those details.  Let’s talk about some of the steps that lead me to where I am today.

As early as age six or seven, I was cutting room images and pasting design ideas together from my mother’s McCall’s and Better Homes and Gardens magazines.  These became my first color boards or “mood” boards.  I still have the scrapbook and would love to share some of it with you, but I don’t know where it is stashed.  I didn’t know then but I know now that I was destined to be an interior designer.

After exploring a nursing career and later starting a small folk art mail order craft business, I decided to get serious about exploring design.  I took one course and I was hooked.  Never did I dream it would turn into this wonderful life experience.

Here is a picture of the model, built to scale, I created as a budding design student in 1985.  We fabricated every piece that went into the room.  Actually, for that stage of my career, it doesn’t look too bad.

MINATURE MODEL, 1985, STUDENT PROJECT

MINIATURE MODEL, 1985, STUDENT PROJECT

In 1987, I opened a small design studio over “The Shop”, a hair salon in Roanoke Rapids.  Murphy Doyle, the owner, was my best form of advertising.  She sent all her customers upstairs to my studio.  What a blessing in disguise!  When I started this venture I bargained with my husband, Paul. I asked that he not pursue relocation for his career for at least two years to give me time to spread my “design” wings.  He never asked me to move.  He has supported me all the way!

FIRST STUDIO/SHOWROOM IN 1987

FIRST STUDIO/SHOWROOM IN 1987

We quickly outgrew our 400 square foot studio.   So I made the big move to the “very quiet” Lake Gaston in 1991.  My Roanoke Rapids customers felt like I was moving out to the “Wild, Wild West” of the lake county.  It was the best move we ever made.

OUR LAKE GASTON SHOWROOM-1993

OUR LAKE GASTON SHOWROOM-1993

I also became a contributor to the Cruisin’ Round Lake Gaston published by C-Line Graphics in 1991.  That was truly my first endeavor as a writer.

CRUSIN  LAKE GASTON MAGAZINE OF THE EARLY '90'S

CRUSIN LAKE GASTON MAGAZINE OF THE EARLY ’90’S

That inspired me to start our monthly newsletter which was sent out by “snail” mail.   Some of you may remember this, The Best of Lake Living.  It contained design tips, special event details and company happenings such as the birth of the first baby amongst our staff family.  This newsletter was published for many years until it became too costly to print and stamp for distribution.

OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER-2002

OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER-2002

Then we entered the digital age!  We progressed on with the Mary Sherwood Lake Living website.  Just a few years ago Design Wisdom Wednesday (DWW) was born.  DWW is opened regularly every week by many loyal followers.   I am so touched by your loyalty.

I have been very fortunate to be a contributing columnist to the monthly The Lake Magazine.  Each month it is a challenge to find a topic and photos to make it an “enjoyable” read.  Thanks to The Lake Magazine, published by the Daily Herald, for the opportunity!

So technology has changed our world but not our approach to our customers and friends.  There has never been a time when I haven’t welcomed seeing you walk through our door.  (Well “almost” never…except when deadlines were looming.)  We have remained small in numbers but big in heart and soul.

After opening the first design studio in 1987, we have moved, expanded and grown in so many ways.  Some of you have seen us through all the changes since the very beginning.  It is all of you that have made this such an incredible journey!  Thanks cannot express my appreciation enough!

So, look for exciting new beginnings for Mary Sherwood Lake Living and for Paul and I as we embark on new adventures.

Love to all of you!!!

Mary

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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May
06

Update Your Decor By Refinishing

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At market, we see so many amazing styles and trends.  I’m often attracted to classic lines and details of furniture, but with a funky finish or creative fabric choice.  It inspires me to think about how I can revamp an older piece into something brand new!

Refinished Turquoise Bamboo ChairRecently, I refinished a set of bamboo chairs for a client.  I’m sorry, I didn’t take a “before” picture, but it was a honey bamboo finish with a light peach plaid seat.

We obviously love color here, so they were refinished in turquoise and distressed to accentuate the shape.  The seats were recovered in bold lime green with a braided yellow and turquoise ribbon trim.  These chairs are going to a beach house, so the colors are going to work beautifully!

Refinished turquoise bamboo chair detail

Refinished turquoise bamboo chair finish and trim detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Point Market Jadeite Bamboo ChairWhen Mary and Michelle came back from the High Point Furniture Market a few weeks ago, we flipped through all their pictures and found this chair.  Look familiar?

This market find is the exact same frame as the refinished piece.  The finish is in keeping with the “Jadeite” trend that Mary posted about last week.

 

 

 

It is amazing to see how you can breath new life into an old piece and make it completely fit with the latest styles.

Do you have an item that has been well loved, but has seen better days?  Maybe refinishing is the answer!  Let us help revive that piece to reflect the new trends and the new you!

~Autumn

Just returned from our semi-annual trek to the High Point Furniture Market.  I was just trying to figure out how many times I have attended this market…twice annually for 28 years-you can do the math!  I am still inspired with each market trip and have seen so many changes over the years.  I think a future blog will have to be my favorite picks for the market trips that have been documented in digital photography dating back to 2003.  It will be interesting to see how much has changed. (Sorry for the short digress).

Here are my  FAVORITES from the High Point Market Spring 2015:

THIS "RETRO" DESIGN  LEATHER CHAIR SPORTING THE NEWEST COLOR INTRO AT MARKET, JADEITE BY CR LAINE.

THIS “RETRO” DESIGN LEATHER CHAIR SPORTING THE NEWEST COLOR INTRO AT MARKET, JADEITE BY CR LAINE.

"JADEITE" WALLS WITH THIS SEASON'S BLUE ACCENTS AT CR LAINE.

“JADEITE” SCREENS WITH NAILHEAD TRIM AND THIS SEASON’S BLUE ACCENTS AT CR LAINE.

"JADEITE" WALLS PAIRED WITH RICH ROSE COLORS AT CR LAINE.

“JADEITE” WALLS PAIRED WITH RICH ROSE COLORS AT CR LAINE.

TOBI FAIRLY'S NEW FURNITURE INTRODUCTION FOR CR LAINE IN ROSE AND ORANGE COMBO

TOBI FAIRLY’S NEW FURNITURE INTRODUCTION FOR CR LAINE IN ROSE AND ORANGE COMBO

A  PAIR OF COZY CHAISE AND A HALF'S BY TOBI FAIRLEY FOR CR LAINE.

A COZY CHAISE AND A HALF BY TOBI FAIRLEY FOR CR LAINE.

ORANGE AND INTERESTING APPLICATIONS OF NAILHEAD TRIM WERE HOT THIS SEASON.

ORANGE AND INTERESTING APPLICATIONS OF NAILHEAD TRIM WERE HOT THIS SEASON.

THE CONTEMPORARY LINES AND ZEBRA FABRIC MAKE THIS A STANDOUT AT FAIRFIELD CHAIR.

THE CONTEMPORARY LINES AND ZEBRA FABRIC MAKE THIS A STANDOUT AT FAIRFIELD CHAIR.

SAPPHIRE BLUE LACQUERED ACCENT CHEST BY HOOKER FURNITURE WITH 7" HARDWARE.

SAPPHIRE BLUE LACQUERED ACCENT CHEST BY HOOKER FURNITURE WITH 7″ HARDWARE.

AGATE ACCENTS WERE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE.  LOVE THIS BLUE AGATE LAMP BY COUTURE.

AGATE ACCENTS WERE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE. LOVE THIS BLUE AGATE LAMP BY COUTURE.

"DREAMY" BLUES AND GREEN BEDDING BY THIBAUT.

“DREAMY” BLUES AND GREEN BEDDING BY THIBAUT.

HAND TUFTING AND VIBRANT COLORS MAKE THIS NEW COMPANY C INTRO A SHOW STOPPER.

HAND TUFTING AND VIBRANT COLORS MAKE THIS NEW COMPANY C INTRO “Art and Soul” A SHOW STOPPER.

This is only a few of the colorful new products and designs at the Spring 2015 High Point Market.  For this color lover it was truly “eye candy”

What is your favorite?  Let us know!

Live in color!

Mary

 

 

 

Pollen

Although this picture has been edited to exaggerate the amount of pollen, I’ll admit it, this is my (Autumn’s) van. Mary would never let Roxy get this dirty!

Spring has officially sprung!  Here on Lake Gaston, it looks like Mother Nature’s highlighter exploded!  Pollen shows that everything is coming back to life, but how can you enjoy life on the lake when all your outdoor furniture is coated with a yellow haze of pollen?!  Here are some cleaning tips that will help cut through even the most caked-on outdoor filth on your cushions.  Then you can get back to the fun of the season!

Fresh pollen can simply be rinsed away with a garden hose, but for heavy layers or pollen mixed with dirt, dust or other messes, you’ll need to do a bit more work. For a deep down clean, follow these steps.

You Will Need:

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Warm water
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Scrub brush
  • Garden hose with running water

Steps to Remove the Pollen:

  1. Fill the spray bottle ¾ full of warm water. You can use hot water if you’re not concerned it will cause color run on your cushions.
  2. Add a good squirt or two of dishwashing liquid.
  3. Shake well until suds begin to form inside of the bottle.
  4. Remove the cushions from the chairs if possible. This will allow you to clean both sides thoroughly. If the cushions are attached to the frame, work with the surfaces you can see.
  5. Rinse loose pollen or debris off with the garden hose. This will prevent you from scrubbing the grime through the cover and into the cushions themselves.
  6. After rinsing, spray the entire surface heavily with the detergent solution.
  7. Follow with a good scrubbing with the brush. Use care around any ripped, torn or weakened areas.
  8. Continue until all surfaces have been cleaned.
  9. Rinse thoroughly with running water.
  10. Repeat with a second spray down and scrubbing if necessary. Rinse thoroughly once all of the grime has been removed.
  11. If cushions were removed from the chair, try standing them on their sides to dry. If you can’t do that, replace them on the chair only if there’s room for them to drip through. If they can’t be removed from the furniture, and the furniture has a solid bottom, turn the entire chair on its side to allow them to dry thoroughly. Water pooling under the cushion will cause mold or mildew to form.
  12. If possible, set the chair in the sun to speed up the drying process.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • To keep the mess to a minimum, wipe the exposed surface with a sponge soaked in warm soapy water at least once a week. Hose off to rinse.
  • Finish with a fabric protectant, if desired.
  • Always try to dry the cushions as quickly as possible. It may even help to press some of the water out. If moisture remains, it quickly becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which is very difficult to remove from cushioning.

(Instructions provided by www.howtocleanstuff.net/.  See the original article here)

 

Now you can sit back and enjoy the season!  Happy Spring!

~Autumn

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Apr
15

Furniture Style -Make It Your Own

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There are so many ways to take a piece of furniture and make it your own.  I am not a big Pinterest user but that is a great resource for inspiration.

Here is a fun piece made by Hooker Furniture that we had in our showroom a few years back that may give you inspiration on how to “make it your own”.

chest-fabric-wallcovering-hardware-paint-redo

Paint, wallcovering/fabric, interesting hardware and creative application are the supplies.

Happy “make it your own”.

Mary

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Apr
08

Terrific Tulips: See how to arrange!

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All of you probably know how crazy I am about tulips.  I dutifully order in the fall, pre-chill in our extra refrigerator until late December or early January and plant on the first “not too cold” day.  Tulips need several months planted in cold, dark soil. Because of our unpredictable winters, pre-chilling helps to give them the “cold” they need to produce in the spring.  But don’t wait too long to plant or they will not have enough time to set their roots.  You can also plant earlier but who has time before the holidays!

Tulips and Pansies love a little cold weather to be able to shine bright in the spring!

Tulips and Pansies love a little cold weather to be able to shine bright in the spring!

So today, I “tiptoed through the tulips” and created this spring bouquet.

A simple "5 minute" spring bouquet of tulips, hellebores and a little purple heart will brighten your home after a cold and wet winter!

A simple “5 minute” spring bouquet of tulips, hellebores and a little purple heart will brighten your home after a cold and wet winter!

Another find in my garden this time of year were a few Hellebores, commonly called a Lenten Rose.  These grow only in shade and pop up around Easter.  I have very little shade and often forget to look in this spot for these little gems.  Spied them this year!

Hellebore, also called a Lenter rose, pop up right around Easter.

Hellebore, also called a Lenter rose, pop up right around Easter.

Sometimes I like to play with the tulips and make them look like red poppies.  Watch the video to learn how!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH12vueEuA

Leave me a comment and tell me how you are enjoying the spring flowers and send pictures of how you use them in your home!

Happy, glorious Spring!

Mary

Apr
01

The En suite Luxury Master Bath

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Last month we shared the “closet to die for”.  Here is the floor plan of the entire “en suite” luxury master bath.CLOSET-MASTER-BATH-CLOSET-FLOOR-PLAN

Now let’s take a look at the rest of the master bath filled with special details and luxury elements.master-bath-suite-calming-grey-cabinet-granite-robertabbeylighting-pine-floor

The double vanity with rectangular sinks and lots of drawers is just the beginning.  Let’s look at the added touches which make this vanity several steps above the average. The wall is mirrored with LED sconces placed on the top of the mirror.  This is one of my favorite ways to add more reflective light back into the room.master-bath-suite-double-vanity-extra-storage-makeup-light-pull-out-shelves

As your eye moves down from the vanity light notice the detailed granite backsplash with a glass mosaic tile insert and the elegant curve of the Kohler faucet.master-bath-suite-tile-insert-granite-backsplash-kohler-faucet-rectangular-sink

Next take a look at the custom glass drawer pulls from Sietto that perfectly compliment the Sienna Bordeaux granite top.master-bath-suite-double-sinks-custom-glass-drawer-pulls

Attached to “her” side of the center wall cabinet that separates his and her spaces is a lighted, dual magnification make-up mirror.  What women could possibly get beautiful without one of these!master-bath-suite-lighted-makeup-mirror

One of the drawers in the vanity base is equipped with an electrical outlet for hair care appliances.  This drawer provides storage as well as concealing all the ugly wires. Under both vanity sinks are two pull-out shelves to keep the under sink space more organized and accessible.master-bath-suite-power-drawer-hairdryer

At the end of the vanity is a beautiful corner shower with glass/stone mosaics tile cascading down the corner across the shower bench.  Take note of the shower niches for bathing products.master-bath-suite-tile-shower-waterfall-mosaic-niche-handheld-rainhead-kohler-fixtures

The “piece de resistance” is the coffee/bar, the Victoria Albert soaking tub and the simply elegant Currey and Co. chandelier.  The bar area is equipped with a two drawer beverage refrigerator.master-bath-suite-wine-bar-two-drawer-refrigerator

master-bath-suite-victoria-albert-soaking-tub-kohler-bath-faucet-tile-wainscotting

Who wouldn’t want to escape and relax in this space!!  Like the old jingle…”Calagon take me away”.

I could really use this En Suite.  How about you?

Mary

Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!

Mar
18

Tile Mosaics-Be Creative

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I follow a blog called HomEdit. Here is one of their blogs about some incredible uses of mosaic tile that really got my creative juices flowing.  http://www.homedit.com/top-uses-mosaic-tiles-around-house/

Tile-mosaic-swirl-backsplash-circles-unique

Tile-Mosaic-shower-columns-mirror-vessel-sink

Tile-mosaics-backsplash-key-placement-fun

 

Which is your favorite?  Do you have any creative ways you have used mosaic tile?  Please share!

Enjoy!

Mary

Categories : Design
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Mar
11

Beach Dreaming for the Beach House

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After all the wintry weather followed by a few warm days we all start a little “beach dreaming”.

Working on a beach house project has certainly put us in the mood to think ahead to “warm sunny days, white sands and a cold drink in our hands” as the song says!

Once again a brand new Company C rug was our inspiration.

Inspiration came from this Company C "To-Bay-Go" area rug!

Inspiration came from this Company C “To-Bay-Go” area rug!

Fabrics and accessories were quick to follow.

Fabrics for slipcovered seating by Four Seasons make for easy care.

Fabrics for slipcovered seating by Four Seasons make for easy care.

Fun sea creature art to be hung on coral walls.

Fun sea creature art to be hung on coral walls.

Coral sculpture lamp works well with the fabrics and rug.

Coral sculpture lamp works well with the fabrics and rug.

Painted, distressed chests to use as night stands or end tables with storage.

Painted, distressed chests to use as night stands or end tables with storage.

20" x 24" woven lobster wall art makes a statement!

20″ x 24″ woven lobster wall art makes a statement!

And to sum it all up…

Wooden whale art expresses it all!

Wooden whale art expresses it all!

We hope to incorporate some of these dreamy beach house accessories as we get this house ready for summer fun.

Tell us which one of these beach dreaming items is your favorite!

Thinking of beach days to come!

Mary

Mar
04

Is This A Closet to Die For?

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Recently we completed a wonderful master bath suite renovation which included this amazing “closet to die for”.

Here is the picture of the “before” closet desperately needing some organization.

CLOSET-BEFORE

The closet floor plan had several angles which made building-in the space a real challenge.  After measuring, assessing the contents and interviewing the owners here is the plan we developed.CLOSET-MASTER-BATH-CLOSET-FLOOR-PLAN

The highlights of this closet installation include the double stack of jewelry drawers, the pull out ironing board with electrical outlet, and the deep and shallow drawers, long/short hanging, and lots of shoes shelves (not shown).CLOSET-JEWELRY-STORAGE-PULLOUT-CUSTOMCLOSET-CUSTOM-IRONING-BOARD-PULLOUTCLOSET-CUSTOM-CABINETRY-LED-LIGHTING-SENSOR

My favorite design element in this closet is the LED lighted closet rods. CLOSET-CUSTOM-LED-LIGHTING-ROD

No more will you need to guess whether your slacks are navy or black.  Other lighting features include the remote motion sensor that turns the LED lights on as you walk into the space.  The LEDs turn off automatically after 3 minutes without motion.  Four recessed can lights provide general illumination and are controlled by a dimmer switch.

Here is the finished project with “HIS” and “HER” sides!

Closet-HIS-HERS-ORGANIZED

What do you think?

Do you agree this is a “closet to die for”?

More to come on the bath of this master suite.

Mary

Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!

Feb
26

Sherwood House for Sale by Owner

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sale-by-owner-lake-gaston-sherwood-lake-front-sunset-views

Hi everyone:
Paul and I are posting our lake home for Sale by Owner. Please take a look at the link below. If you know of anyone that may be interested please share the link. We really appreciate anything you can do to help us.

The asking price is $695,000.  The web site lists the details and shows lots of pictures.

Sherwood House for Sale by Owner

Forsalebyowner.com

Thanks again for everything!

Mary and Paul

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Good morning from Tucson! Our visit to Tucson has been extended several times the last few days because of all the winter weather between here and there!  We drove out West in two days with wonderful weather and blue skies. Never in our planning did we figure on ice and snow getting in the way of our return home.  If you have ever driven across the plains of TX you know how desolate it can be.  With limited options for pulling off the road we have been waiting for it to clear.  We plan to leave as soon as we can make it safely.  With the beautiful warm weather here I sorta feel like a kid not wanting summer camp to end but we are coming back the LKG!

I mentioned in last week’s DWW, that our Tucson friends have purchased a beautiful new home on Dove mountain.  The house was built as the Ritz Carlton model when they were developing the area in 2007.  It is an amazing house with so much attention to detail.  We looked at it two weeks ago and they are closing this Friday!  WOW! This real estate transaction has moved so fast!Home-Dove-mountain-ritzcarlton-estate

So, of course, we jumped right into the interior design of this wonderful property. The owner wanted a brighter, more updated color pallet.  As I have always said find your “given”.  A “given” is a piece of art, area rug, fabric or what ever that will lead you into a design direction.  We selected Hayden, a Company C area rug, for the living space to get us started.  company-C-rug-inspiration-focal-point-living-roomWe found the perfect coordinating fabrics with colors that are inspired by the natural beauty of the mountain sunrise and sunset.  fabric-upholstery-desert-colors-nature-inspired-kravet

fabric-upholstery-desert-colors-blue-teal-pumpkin-green-nature-inspired-kravet.JPGAlso, I found inspiration in a piece of local art.art-mountains-collage-desert-color-nature-inspired

Here is the pallet and just the beginning of a beautiful, nature inspired, desert mountain interior.  I am so excited to have gotten this opportunity to work on this house.  I have accomplished so much in the last ten days and found many local design resources.  It has been so inspiring!!!

sunset-desert-mountains-tucson-nature-beauty-colors

Here’s to many more amazing sunrises and sunsets!

See you soon!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Feb
18

Designing in Tucson

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Hello loyal MSLL Design Wednesday Wisdom followers!  I am writing this from super sunny Tucson, AZ.  Sorry to gloat but I am glad we are here instead of frigid NC.

I was not sure this was the place for me until this trip.  I am loving the climate and getting excited about our future relocation.

Life is different here because just about everything revolves around being outdoors.  Paul and I are enjoying the 3 mile round trip walk to the community Athletic Center.  I am fascinated by the succulents and cacti in their many various shapes and forms.  Many evenings we have shared time with our friends on their patio and enjoyed the warmth of the fireplace. I have been picking fresh grapefruit each morning from one of our four citrus trees.  We just missed the blood orange season for this year. 🙁  But I have it on the calendar for 2016! IMG_9748

The most exciting news is that our Tucson friends have purchased a beautiful new home on Dove mountain.  The house was built as the Ritz Carlton model when they were developing the area in 2007.  It is an amazing house with so much attention to detail.  The new owner wants to lighten up the interior and make it more transitional.  We are busy planning the interior paint, wallcovering, rug and fabric selections while we are still in town.  If you have to work on “vacation” this is an exciting way to do so.  I will post more about this project as it evolves.Lone-Dove-House-Tucson-AZ-moutain-living-.png

Sorry to say we are coming back to the cold but it is always good to be back at Lake Gaston.

So until we meet again…be safe, stay warm and know spring is on the way!

Warm wishes!

~ Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Feb
04

Design Dilemma. The Quirky Fireplace.

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Hey guys!  Whose ready for more design critical thinking?  I got such a great response with the last project preview which focused on a kitchen design decision: whether to expand or not expand.  I decided to share another design project that I’ve been working on:  The Quirky Fireplace.

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The Quirky Fireplace

The Quirky Fireplace is exactly its name, just plain quirky. Let’s take a closer look.

Here’s the existing fireplace. It’s a very small wall.  The master bedroom entrance is to the right and to the left is a wall of windows with a gorgeous view of the lake. The small area doesn’t seem to be working, its elements are not in sync. The niche seems high and the TV is too close to the fireplace. The fireplace also has very little presence.

Here’s the design dilemma: How do you marry the fireplace, TV and the mantel/niche area to make it more functional and cohesive?

What would you do?

Here’s my solution. My first thought was to create a mantle that could house the TV and eliminate the extra piece of furniture. The mantle would extend from the left corner of the left wall back towards the wall above the fireplace creating an obtuse triangle. The left side of the new mantel would be deep enough to house the TV.

Design-Dilemma-The-Quirky-Fireplace-2

Front View. Notice the glass wall art really pops in the niche.

Now you’re wondering, what about the area below the mantel? There will be a void under the mantel to the left beside the fireplace. Yes! However, we thought it would be ideal to tile this entire area. We went a step further to expand the hearth with tile that would mimic the shape of the mantel. This would really sync this area together and create visual interest.

Design-Dilemma-The-Quirky-Fireplace-1

This view gives a good indication of how the hearth of the fireplace mimics the mantel.

What about the niche above the fireplace?  This has many possibilities. First, I would lower the niche to meet the new mantel.  Shelves could be added to create a small bookcase to display momentous. Or, it could be used to create a feature wall. Mary loves to use glass in her design projects. This niche area created a perfect spot to display blown glass art which would also add a pop of color that would in return balance the bulk of the TV. I did leave a small shelf above the mantel to create a home for electronics below such as cable box, DVD player, etc.

What do you think of the design solution?

Would you do anything differently?

This is only a preliminary design I created with a program called Sketch-Up. None of the details are set in stone. This is only  a suggestion to help the client get a feel of the possible solution to her quirky fireplace wall dilemma.

I can’t wait to hear what your design solution is! 

I promise I will share the final design solution!

-Dixie K  (Happy Birthday to me!)  =)

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

 

 

 

 

Jan
28

Trend Spotting Going Into 2015

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I always get excited about exploring future trends. Based on High Point photos from October here are a few trends I see going forward in 2015.  Some of the highlights of the following pictures include textures, colors. natural elements, and multi-tasking furniture.

These furniture pieces have several of the elements above-color, texture and multi-tasking.  I love to use chests of all sizes and styles because they are so versatile. A chests can be used as a night stand, entry console, and table linen storage, just to name a few.  These chests have texture, color, style and so much more.  Chest A, from Couture, is made with a mother-of-pear veneer in a leafy tropical design.  Chest B, from Couture, has an egg shell blue melange inset which has amazing visual and tactile texture, color and pattern.  Chest C, from Palu, with it’s ribbed vertical texture, is available in several custom color choices. How would you incorporate a chest into your design scheme?

FURNITURE COLLAGE

Trendy, preppy, traditional styles with throw backs to the 60’s and 70’s are evident in these two bedding collections from Thibaut and Eastern Accents.  The Asian elements, fretwork, topical motifs and colors of pink and green are cropping up in many areas of home fashion.  Are you ready to go back in time with this new version of pink and green?

Bedding pink green Asian

The application of vertical trims and contrasting fabrics in upholstery is just beginning.  Look for more ways to mix it up with this and other upholstery details.

Upholstery vertical applications

Large art and animal images continue to be shown, coming forward from 2014.

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Greenery in the form of succulents and tropicals are the latest in permanent botanical trends.

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Looking back and looking forward shows an unending movement of the trends. What do you see as some of the upcoming design trends to watch?

Happy spotting!

Mary

 

 

As a gardener, although it is the middle of Winter, some days you just have to get outside and get your hands in the dirt.  Sunday afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shinning.  I couldn’t resist.

Most of you probably have enjoyed our tulip display in the Spring in our large flower box under our sign.  Those bulbs were planted the first of January after chilling a few months in my extra refrigerator.  I didn’t quite finish the tulip planting chore that day and stuck the rest back in the frig.  Finally, I had a day to finish the planting and hope I didn’t get them in the ground too late.

Here is a picture of the Fall window boxes attached to the front of our building.  They were planted in October with some hardy and some tender plants that I knew would not survive the first frost.  I liked the combination and knew some could endure(the pansies and ornamental cabbage).  With the colder temperature the ornamental peppers and spider plants gave up the ghost.

garden_flowerbox_fall_ornamental_cabbage_peppers_spiderplant_pansies_lake_gaston

I planned to used these boxes and plant the tulips around the hardier plants but I had a lot of open bare areas showing.  Years ago my friend Patsy Cuthrell  showed me the reindeer lichen growing along many of our roads.  It’s also called reindeer moss and often used in floral arrangement and terrariums.  Reindeer moss is really a lichen: a combination of a fungus and algae that have a symbiotic relationship and form a new plant. The moss is spongy when moist, but dries out when removed from its natural habitat.  It can be preserved with glycerin and dyed with fabric dye.   How to Preserve Reindeer Moss  Since I was just using it for a short time in the boxes I left it natural.

I am lucky to have access to this lichen right at the end of my road.  Harvesting the plants is so simple because it spreads on top of the other ground cover.  Here is my harvest spot and bounty.  It took all of five minutes to collect.

garden_closeup_lichen_reindeer_moss_winter_ground_cover_floral_arranging_lake_gaston Garden_winter_lichen_inthewoods_reindeer_moss_flower_arranging_material-lake-gaston garden_lichen_reindeer_moss_winter_harvest

Some years I have better luck than others with the tulips in these boxes because they do not get a lot of sun in front of the building and the deer find them very tasty.  Here is a picture of the boxes in 4/2012.

garden_flowerbox_spring_tulips_Lake_gaston_msll

Next I cleaned up the dead plants out of the flower boxes and planted twelve tulips in each of the three planters.

garden_flowerbox_without_lichen-winter-ornamental-cabbage

 

Here is where I used the reindeer lichen to dress up the boxes and hide the bare spots until the tulips poke through and do their thing.

garden_flowerbox_cabbage_ornamental-lichen-pansies-mary-sherwood-lake-living

Keep your fingers crossed I didn’t plant the  tulips too late.

On the warmer winter days do you head to the outdoors?  What do you do? Garden, exercise, hike?  Let us hear about your winter outdoor adventures around Lake Gaston.  I am sure some of you sneak in a leisurely boat ride on the lake while the sun is bright!  Send us your Winter outdoor pictures to share.

Happy Winter!  I have visions of the Spring to come!

Mary

 

We are working with a client who wants to renovate her kitchen to be more functional. She loves to entertain and cook.  I thought it would be neat to share some of our preliminary planning for this kitchen that you may not always get to see. We often share before and after photos, but we do not always share the in-between parts that get us to the final layout.

It is our job as interior designers to come up with the best possible scenarios that meet all or most of the client’s needs. This is not always an easy task.  A lot goes into this design development and planning phase before presenting design options to the client.

First things 1st: Before sketching and drawing up new plans we first take measurements of the existing space. 

To-Expand-or-not-to-expand-dixie-sketching

Mary and I met with the client to go over their initial needs and take measurements. These measurements include interior dimensions, window and door placement, outlets, and appliance sizes (if keeping). Here are the rough on-site sketches taken for this project!  (I always hope we can make sense of all these doodles!)

To-Expand-Or-Not-To-Expand-Sketching

After the initial consultation with the client and the site visit, it’s to the drawing board. With this we have all the information we need to move forward to create possible scenarios to improve this kitchen. The client was also open to exploring an option of expanding the kitchen with an addition off the back of the house. The first plan features the kitchen and total first floor renovation. The second plan features a large expanded kitchen off the back of the house facing the lake!  (Ooh la la!  This expanded plan helps the client to visualize the possibilities!)

To-Expand-Or-Not-To Expand-Exisiting-Plan

EXISTING FIRST FLOOR PLAN

 

Voila! Here is all the scribbles and doodles converted into a more manageable form. Above is the client’s existing first floor plan.

Here are the Two Preliminary Plans: 

To-Expand-Or-Not-To-Expand-Plan-1

PLAN 1:  FIRST FLOOR RENOVATION WITHOUT EXPANSION

Plan 1: (without expansion)

Includes a spacious new kitchen, wet bar and relocation of the dining and living areas.  The living area was relocated because the existing space was very narrow and limited the furniture arrangement.  A small conversation seating area (shown as Living II) in front of the fireplace works better in the narrow space. The relocation of the laundry area opens up the kitchen.  Additional windows were added to the back of the home for maximum views of the lake. The added wet bar will increase the ease of entertaining. By taking down a few walls, we opened up this kitchen and created a well-functioning living space for entertaining.

 

To-Expand-Or-Not-To-Expand-Plan-2

PLAN 2: FIRST FLOOR RENOVATION WITH EXPANSION

Plan 2: (with expansion)

The addition off the back of house facilitates the expansion of the kitchen with a large island and additional storage. This plan keeps the formal dining area and central area (around the staircase) as drawn in the original plan. The living space is rearranged to include a TV viewing area adjacent to the lake and a small seating area in front of the fireplace. The laundry room is expanded slightly for more storage. The kitchen is the focus of this renovation. This plan also includes a large bar/buffet area for entertaining. Large windows are added to maximize views of the lake.  An additional less formal dining area is placed off the kitchen.  This plan truly is for a host that likes to entertain and cook!

 

After viewing both plans which do you prefer? Would you Expand (Plan 2) or Not Expand(Plan 1)? 

Leave a comment below telling us which is your favorite! I can’t wait to see what the client decides! Stay tuned to see!

-Happy Design Wisdom Wednesday! 

-See you next week!

-Dixie K

 

 

Jan
07

The Perfect Bookcase Arrangement

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We recently completed a wonderful renovation of a Lake Gaston home.  It began with a kitchen update.  The project then expanded to include most of the first floor.  All the contents of this floor were stored while the pine floors were refinished.  Moving back-in required a lot of organization so we tackled the large expanse of bookcases first.  Here is the ‘’before’’ picture which we used as a reference to source out additional accessories and to incorporate with the owner’s objects.

Bookcase-before-dark-background-small-objects-large-space

Before-The dark painted background, standard book placement and accessories needed updating and organizing.

First, we updated the pine cabinetry by lightening the back of the bookcases with a natural color grasscloth wallcovering. I love the added texture and interest of grasscloth.bookcase-grasscloth-stager-height-books-bookends

We began with the placement of the owner’s books.  We added appeal by placing the books vertically and horizontally and staggering the heights.  Books placed horizontally can also act as risers to vary the height in a collection of items. Interesting bookends completed the look.

Bookcase-bookends-antlers-black-white-photos-staggered-books-

Stagger the height of books and add interesting bookends!

Mixing metals, patterns, textures and colors are a must!  We kept the displays meaningful by including several of the owners’ black and white photographs, family photos, career memorabilia and awards.  One of my favorite items in the owners’ collection was the vintage children’s books of the States.

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In the lower right hand corner is the collection of vintage children’s books of the States.

Last but not least is lighting the bookcases. If your bookcases do not have built-in lighting, the addition of some type of lighting is a “must”.  Include small bookshelf lamps where a power source in available. Remote control battery operated candles make it easy to place candlesticks throughout the shelves.

Bookcase-after-above-cabinet-leaning-large-art-accessories

Fill that vacant space above a bookcase with large objects and art. Add lighting with bookshelf lamps and remote battery powered candles!

Here it is-the “after” bookcases!  Layering various elements, staggering heights, and keeping items in odd number groups creates a pleasing array. 

Bookcase-after-grasscloth-books-accessories-lighting-assortment-photos-family

After-Bookcase accessorized with assorted photos, candles and collectibles.

So stand back, a take a look at your bookcases.  Shake it up a bit by using the above tips to create you own perfect bookcase arrangement.

Show us your bookcase projects!

Happy arranging!

Mary

Dec
17

Don’t be a Fruitcake this Christmas!

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As a special holiday treat, Chef Yvonne, Y Cook?,  is our Design Wisdom Wednesday guest contributor today for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Her tasty recipes are demonstrated and enjoyed frequently at MSLL during her Cooking Classes! Her classes cover a huge range and brings variety to the table!

Tis the season to be jolly….and fruity!

During the holiday season, we celebrate with family and friends by enjoying numerous food and beverage traditions.  There’s eggnog, spiced cider, candy canes, gingerbread houses, and the beloved fruitcake.

fruitcake

Fruitcakes date back to Roman times when the cake was made with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins.  During the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.  Crusaders were even known to carry fruitcake during their travels to sustain them throughout their journeys.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with fruitcake.  There are those that love the moist cake filled with delectable nuts and fruits, and then there are those that think of it as a dense “brick”.  So whether you love or strongly dislike the familiar dessert, you will surely love my spin on the well-known tradition.

I’ve transformed the generic fruitcake into a bite-size morsel that is moist and full of flavor.  My take on the traditional fruitcake is the Fruitcake Cookie.

Fruit Cake Cookies crop

Fruitcake Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces pineapple preserves
  • 1 1/2 tbs. Half and Half cream
  • 2 1/4 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 16 ounces jar red cherries drained and chopped
  • 16 ounces jar green cherries drained and chopped
  • 1 pound chopped dates
  • 6 cups chopped pecans (walnuts & almonds mixed are a nice change)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

Coat nuts and fruit with 1/2 cup flour.  Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, preserves, milk, soda, vanilla and flour.  Pour over nuts and fruit mixture.  Mix with hands.  Drop in large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet.  Bake 11 minutes at 325 degrees (depending on your oven).  You can wrap uncooked dough in saran wrap.  Make into tube shape (like a slice and bake cookie).  Cover with foil and freeze.  They will keep for months.

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Believe me…I’m aware of all of the fruitcake jokes.  “Why does fruitcake make the perfect gift? Because the U.S. Postal Service hasn’t found a way to damage it.”  But please trust me, these cookies are the answer to satisfy even your toughest fruitcake critic.

Enjoy….and Happy Holidays!

Love,

Chef YvonneFruitcake-ycook

Y Cook? 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Dec
10

MSLL Holiday Gift Guide 2014

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Holiday-Gift-Guide-2014-Banner

MSLL has constructed the ultimate Holiday Gift Guide to make your shopping experience a bit easier this Holiday season. We promise with these amazing gifts there will be no returns or re-gifting if you stick to our guide! The following MSLL Holiday Gift Guide features 12 perfect gifts that are sure to bring happiness and make you the best gift giver ever! Move over Santa, I’m giving the best gifts this year! Oh! Not to mention you will have the best wrapped presents around with our fabulous complementary gift wrap!

Holiday-Gift-Guide-2014-Guide-1

Holiday-gift-Guide-2014-Guide-2

Mary Sherwood Lake Living Holiday Gift Guide 2014:

1. Fashion Apparel: This year’s apparel seems to be the best we have ever carried! It’s been hard to keep the racks full. We have wonderful travel wear, bright tunics and palazzo pants that have been super popular this year.  Our travel wear is wrinkle free, perfect for your next getaway!  $38 – $78

2. Don’t forget the Captain! Our Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze and Peach Barbecue Boucan Sauce are a crowd pleaser! These would make perfect gifts for a neighbor or take a bottle  as a hostess gift for your next holiday party your attending. This sauce is delicious! The bottle has a recipe attached for an amazing appetizer dip! Even someone that tailgates would love this for their next sports event! You can’t go wrong here.  $12

3. Magnolia Casual Indoor/Outdoor Swings: I always have people telling me their child would love this in their bedroom or they are planning on hanging one on their boat dock! Which is a perfect idea for these gorgeous swings! All our swings come in a set which includes: The swing constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric, a seat cushion, back pillow and matching carrying bag which is easy to stow.  $189

4. Sweet & Saucy Caramel Sauce: This happens to be our Salted Caramel Sauce which is my favorite! = ) We have: Spicy Mango Madness, Rum Caramel and even a Raspberry Fudge Sauce!  This is a great gift  for anyone! I would pair my jar with an ice cream scoop for the perfect ice cream sundae package! Simple & Easy! You could always add cherries on top!  $11

5. Lake Gaston Picture Frame: Here is another great gift idea! I’m sure mom or grandma would love this in their lake home! Take it step further and actually put a photo in the frame of the family or grand-kids! The picture corners in the frame make it easy to change out the photos each year!  $49

 6. Mary Sherwood Lake Living Gift Card: The perfect gift! Our gift cards do not expire and can be used towards anything in our showroom! You could even give a gift card for $25 or $35 for someone to attend one of Chef Yvonne’s cooking classes held here at MSLL! Absolutely Perfect!  $ – $$$

7. Lake Gaston Christmas Ornaments: We have several different ornaments to choose from this year. Some even have Lake Gaston printed on them! How cool is that? These would be great if you know someone that gets an ornament for their tree each year or for an ornament exchange party.  $18

8. Jewelry: Our Jewelry display has just everything from necklaces, earrings, bangles, brackets, watches, rings and a few necklace/earring sets. Various style to choose from. We even have a handmade line from a young lady in Virginia Beach!  $10 – $148

9. Handbags: We have the look you want but not the price. Our gorgeous bags look similar to a Micheal Kors’ bag but not the ticket price! I love our bags I think they are age appropriate for anyone 20-something to someone 60-something! We have various sizes and style for fit any ladies taste. $14 – $123

10. Scribble Cloths: Have you seen these yet? Scribble Cloths are amazing! Great for parties, children and events! We have runners that can be scribbled on with chalk! We have used these several times for events here at MSLL! We used the large runner for our food display, labeling all our delicious delights! What a great gift! $38 – $50

11. Lake Gaston Coasters: We have several sets of Lake Gaston Coasters! My favorites are the Lake map and Lake Rules! We have sets of two and fours!  Perfect for anyone that loves and lives on the lake! $32 – $57

12. Add-A-Kid Bibs: Don’t forget the little ones! We have an array of items in our children’s area but, these have to be the funniest! These bibs are one of a kind designs for little guys and girls! All bibs have Lake Gaston on them as well! Such a great keep sake too! $13

 

Just follow our Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect Christmas presents this Holiday season! Need more ideas? Just give us a call (252-586-2437) or ask me! We do our best to meet the needs of our customers. We are always willing to help!  We even suggest gift ideas for no charge! =)  Join us this Holiday season and Shop Small here on Lake Gaston! Don’t forgot the complimentary Gift Wrap!

 

Merry Christmas! 

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston 

 

 

If you have recently changed your color scheme or updated your interior how do you incorporate the new color scheme into this year’s holiday décor? Look for inspiration where you least expect it.

This dining room had recently been updated using a wonderful blue accent wall (Benjamin Moore #798 Blue Suede Shoes). Could this be our inspiration?

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

 

How do you use the common holiday colors of red and green with this blue wall? With very little investment in new decorations the room began to come together with the addition of blue ornaments and a few other blue accents. The new items included inexpensive glass and plastic ornaments, multi-colored small gift bags (including blue), small little gift wrap bows and curly ribbon. Other found items from the owner’s collection were wine glasses, an antique tall pitcher with a blue rim, glass cylinders, glass vases and glass candlesticks.

Blue glass candlesticks, a vase and a pitcher were from the owner's collection.

Blue glass candlesticks, a vase and a pitcher were from the owner’s collection.

The centerpiece was the starting point which used an assortment of ornaments and objects. Heights were varied to create a pleasing arrangement. Hostess gifts were wrapped in the small foil gift bags to later be used as place cards for a holiday dinner. To give the arrangement more length on the 108” long table curly ribbon was casually placed at each end of the centerpiece.

Assorted small ornaments, glass candlesticks and containers are the components of this easy centerpiece.

Assorted small ornaments, glass candlesticks and containers are the components of this easy centerpiece.

When the table settings were placed the centerpiece was adjusted to allow more room on the table. A few of the pieces removed from the table were placed on the serving buffet to carry out the multi-color scheme.

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

The pièce de résistance was the valance, created with Christmas ornaments tied to staggered lengths of curly ribbon, which frames the entrance to the dining room.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Each area of the great space was decorated with multi-colors including a touch of the newly added blue. Think about how you can bring a little of your new interior color(s) into your holiday scheme without starting all over.

Happy holiday decorating!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Nov
26

Lots to be Thankful for in 2014!

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Happy-Thanksgiving-2014-Banner

There’s so much to be Thankful for here at Lake Gaston! We have the absolute BEST Customers, Clients, Co-workers, Cooking Class Foodies, Chef, Friends and Family anyone could ask for! This year thus far has been amazing! We have the challenge every year to try and “out-do” ourselves for our customers.  Without the local support of friends and family it would not be at all possible! We are truly grateful!

Thank you for all that you do for us! We love our Mary Sherwood Lake Living family, you all mean so much to us!  We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s just few things we are so grateful for! 

We are grateful for the ability to have our special events throughout the year for our customers to enjoy! Christmas Open House, Mother’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Beauty and Skin Care..just to name a few!

Happy-Thanksgiving-Special-Events

Of course we are Thankful for our amazing, awesome, special, wonderful Clients, Cooking Class Foodies & Customers! We have the best of the best! You guys rock!

Happy-Thanksgiving-Customers

We are Thankful for our design projects and the amazing team of guys who help us get the project from a sketch to reality! Our design team is top notch! Here is one from earlier in the year! We are working on a few now hoping to finish up before Christmas!

Happy-Thanksgiving-Projects

I am thankful for our MSLL Team! They deserve a Huge Thanks! They are the engine of our little machine out here at the lake. They are my support system, my friends and certainly my family! I thank you for all you do for me!

Happy-Thanksgiving-Team

Last but not the least…. We are Thankful for the safe arrival of Autumn’s sweet new baby boy,  Ethan Campbell Wenger! He was delivered early Tuesday morning! Both Mommy and baby are perfect!

Congratulations Autumn & Ryan!

Happy-Thanksgiving-Autumn-Ethan

 

Again, we hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoys this special time with their family and friends! Don’t get to stuffed, leave that to the turkey! 

 

Love, Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston

 

Take a moment to tell us what your are Thankful for this year!  

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

I have never been leery about touching up a gilded mirror or a chipped frame.  But this last project was a challenge.  Our client had a very large chandelier that was way oversized for the dining room (left by a previous owner).  She wanted to replace it but hated to “just get rid of it”.  I suggested we lightened up the finish and place it in the large volume of space of the two story foyer.  Open mouth and insert foot… “I said I can lighten this up, no problem”.  I totally lost all sense of how large this piece is and how much it weighed.  The owner had her electrician take the fixture down and she brought it to our door.  When it arrived and she said: “It will take two of us to get it out of the SUV”, I began to realize the error of my ways to be so willing to take on the re-do.

But I had a plan.  My “trade secret” for renewing a variety of products is Rub n’ Buff.  I have used it for years on furniture, metal items, walls and more.  It comes in many colors and is available in many different finishes.

For this chandelier project I used one tube of the Pewter Rub n’ Buff.  Here are the before and afters.  Although, it is not yet hung it shows what a wonderful way you can re-new a piece.

Chandelier-antique-bronze-finish-small-space-large-fixture

Oversized chandelier for a compact dining space.

Chandelier-finial-antique-bronze-before-redo

Close-up of chandelier part before applying the pewter finish

Chandelier-finial-pewter-finish

Finial with brushed on pewter finish

chandelier-new-finish-pewter-rubnbuff

Chandelier almost ready to hang with new pewter finish with hints of the original finish showing through. We also have new drum shades on order to complete the updated look.

 

I found a great blog site that shows a number of ways to use Buff n’ Rub. Because this product is so easy to use you probably still have time to spruce up something in your house for the holidays.

Happy rubbing and buffing with my favorite Trade Secret!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

We had an amazing turn-out this past weekend for our annual Holiday Open House.  Great customers, delicious food, and a lot of gift wrap!  In case you missed it, not to fret.  We still have tons of Christmas wonders to share.  Here is just a sampling to get you excited.  We’ve also started putting these on our Pinterest page, so check that out too – it’s a great way to organize your shopping list.

2014 Mary Sherwood Lake Living holiday open house food

 

We can’t talk about any event at Mary Sherwood Lake Living without talking about the amazing menu.  Yvonne of Y Cook certainly outdid herself.  She prepared Raspberry Jalapeno Popper Dip, Salted Caramel Apple Tarts, and Sweet Potato Butter Cake topped with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, just to name a few.  Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Diehr Nana's Jams

 

We also had the pleasure of welcoming Carol Diehr of Nana’s Jams and CD Delicacies.  She presented many ideas for her delicious jams.  They are also a great gift idea!

 

 

 

Will Pedersen Love You Like A Rock

 

During our morning seminar, we presented many new ideas to add something unique to your holiday decor scheme.  Among them, we featured Will Pedersen of Love You Like a Rock.  His one of a kind creations make great gifts and can be completely customized for your needs.  He also donates all the proceeds to the MS Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday decor and gifts mary sherwood lake living lake gaston

 

As always, our showroom was all a bustle with gifts and shoppers.  Here is just one of our many displays, which features a unique design technique Mary presented during the seminar.  Ornaments hung from ribbons at different lengths can frame a display, act as a room divider, or highlight a doorway.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this small peek into Christmas here at Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Come by and see it first hand for yourself!

HO HO HO and Merry Christmas from all of us at MSLL!!!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Nov
05

‘Tis the Season to be Tacky!

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'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-bottle-tagIt’s the week of our Christmas Open House here at MSLL! I have been blinded by Christmas lights, covered in glitter, and the bows just keep coming and coming. Whoops!? I’m sorry that was just my tacky sweater! HaHa!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-beer‘Tis the season to be Tacky!  & we are embracing this Tacky trend this holiday season at MSLL! We even have a whole tree dedicated to this Tacky Christmas trend! Why Tacky!? Well because it’s FUN! There are no rules, no guidelines and just about anything works! It brings out the kid in all of us!

The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and family. Special festivities take place and this year Tacky Christmas Sweater parties top the chart as the most popular party theme to host this holiday season.  However, this may require you to wear a tacky sweater that you may not own. NO FEAR! There is even a website now that sells ONLY Tacky Christmas Sweaters! Like I said, this trend is taking over the spotlight!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-koozie

Tacky Christmas Sweaters can be for your beverages too! Like the ones shown here!

Tacky Sweaters can be found at thrift stores, eBay, or if you’re feeling creative construct a one of a kind sweater of your own! I think homemade sweaters are the way to go. Just like homemade Halloween costumes, they always make a better lasting impression. 

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-mini-sweater

Check out these Mini Tacky Christmas Sweater Ornaments from our Tacky Christmas Tree in our Showroom!

Not sure how to create a Tacky Christmas Sweater? Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Start with a good sweater for the base. Bright bold cheerful colors in shades of green or red will work best! Any sweater with an over-the-top print or pattern are great as well.

2. Ornaments are second. These can be found at any dollar store or thrift store. The more unique the better! Stay away from breakable ornaments – this could get messy in the middle of your party, PARTY FOWL!

3. Add a little Flare to your sweater. Sequins, tinsel, shiny bows, garland, what ever your heart desires here!

4.Patches and other appliques can be a quick and easy fix! Hot glue them or even iron-on’s will do the trick! Wah LAH! Your Done!  You have a one of a kind Tacky Christmas Sweater that is sure to be the highlight of the party.

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-christmas-tree-sweaterHere are some of my favorite homemade Tacky Sweaters I’ve come Across Online: 

Christmas Sweater Tree– I have seen this several times, it’s so clever. When she puts her arms above her head her sweater becomes a beautiful Christmas tree.

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-sweater

 

The Abominable Snowman Tacky Sweater- I love this! Rudolph is a classic Christmas movie and this fuzzy guy will steal the show at your next Tacky appearance.

Tacky Couple of Sweaters– Get the Hubby involved! I think this is adorable and even tackier that they match!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-couple

Which Sweater is your favorite!? Or do you have a Tacky ensemble you would like to share?

We hope to see everyone this Saturday at our Christmas Open House! Seminar beings at 9 AM! Shopping 10 AM! 

Have a Tacky Holiday Season! 

-Dixie K 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Oct
29

Beautiful and Exotic Stones

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Exotic stones are such an amazing work of nature.  When selecting natural stone for a project, I am always drawn to the unusual and rare.  Not all budgets and applications will allow the use of exotic stone but let’s explore the possibilities.

There are basically two types of stone compositions used for interiors.

Siliceous Stone is composed of silica and quartz-like particles.  It is very durable.  Granite, slate, sandstone and quartzite are a few examples:

Natural-Stone-GRANITE-fusion-picasso-morumbi-veining-color-contrast-visual-texture

Calcareous Stone is composed of calcium carbonate.    Marble, travertine, limestone and onyx are stones in this category. These stones are more sensitive to acidic foods and cleansers.

Natural-Stone-MARBLE-artemis-rainforest-arabascoto-orobico-veining-mary-sherwood-lake-living

Josh Garskofthis from This Old House Magazine expresses my sentiments about natural stone:  “Every rock pulled from the earth has its own mineral color, veining, and speckles, brought vividly to life by stone-workers’ saws and polishing wheels. It will be as distinctive as an original work of art. A stone countertop will last as long as your house—maybe even longer.   It needs only a little routine care and forethought to ward off water marks, stains, and etching typically caused by acidic foods. But even if the worst happens—a chipped edge, a red wine spill—most stones can be restored by a professional. Unlike almost every other building material, stone does not decay. Rather, its natural beauty only enhances through years of use.”

Here are some larger images of amazing exotic, natural stones.

Granite can have incredible depth, visual texture and color.  The “movement” or the flow of the veining in the stone and the contrast of light and dark  mineral deposits place these granites in the exotic category.

STONE-GRANITE-MORUMBI-DRAMATIC-MOVEMENT-BLACK-AMBER-VEINING-MOVEMENT

MORUMBI GRANITE

stone-granite-PICASSO-rare-brazil-movement-grey-amber-veining

PICASSO GRANITE

STONE-GRANITE-FUSION-MOVEMENT-GREY-AMBER-VEINING-RARE

FUSION GRANITE

Onyx has patterns and colors not available in many other stones.  Some onyx, like the Honey onyx, has translucent characteristics that are great for backlighting countertops for a dramatic visual effect.

HONEY ONYX

HONEY ONYX

STONE-ONYX-RAINBOW-BROWN-IVORY-RARE

RAINBOW BROWN ONYX

Marble is softer than granite. It will age and develop its own patina over time.  Although not always recommended for kitchen countertops, with proper care it will retain its beauty for years.  The more “visual texture” marble has, the better for camouflaging any minor small imperfections.  One of my favorites is the pattern of Rainforest marble, resembling the limbs and twigs of trees.

RAINFOREST MARBLE

RAINFOREST MARBLE

STONE-MARBLE-ARTEMIS-EXOTIC-MOVEMENT-GREY-AMBER

ARTEMIS MARBLE

ARABASCATO MARBLE

ARABASCATO MARBLE

So dream big with these exotic stones from far-away places! In your dream, which is your favorite and where would you put it?

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle! 

 

The MSLL girls just got back from the Fall 2014 High Point Furniture Market – Here’s are some of the highlights!

creative display ideas high point fall 2014

Market is a great place to find creative display ideas – how fun would it be to have a cool ride like this one as a conversation piece!  Plus, funny enough this showroom is for the company Go Home!

creative eye catching display ideas high point fall 2014

More creative display ideas – think back to your childhood with this one. The art of balloon animals!  This display is by More Council.

Unique expandable table high point fall 2014

We also look for unique engineering in furniture design. Check out this stylish dining table by Creative Metal that folds out to expand.

unique functional drawer detail high point fall 2014

This unique chest by Uttermost features drawers that function more like doors by swinging out rather than pulling straight out. Just another example of the creative features we find.

finish options in a wide range of colors high point fall 2014

This Palu chest is available in all these finished, plus any custom color!

finished drawer interior detail high point fall 2014

What a great detail! Each drawer features a different lining for an unexpected design.  Chest by More Council.

metallic finish options and creative hardware designs high point fall 2014

We are always on the hunt for ways to make furnishing even more unique. Here we have a wide selection of metallic finishes and hardware creations by Tritter Feefer Vintage to inspire our designs.

wore out after a long market high point fall 2014

All right, we’re excited about everything that was seen at market, but whew!  We’re wore out!

We hope you enjoyed seeing this small peek into the 2014 Fall High Point Furniture Market.  What was your favorite?

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Oct
15

Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall

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Fall is here! It’s that time of year again to stow away our favorite summer fashion and accessories and bring out our warm fuzzy Fall and winter attire for the transition from Summer to Fall. Why not do the same in your home? Welcome in the cool weather months by transforming your home with these simple interior decorating ideas.

Warm Up your Living Room with Plush Throws 

There’s nothing cozier than a warm blanket while hanging out on the couch watching TV with the family. It’s always a good idea to have more than one on hand to ensure guests have their own to keep them warm and comfortable during their stay. Cozy throws are also a great opportunity to bring color into the room, the more contrast the better!

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Throws

 

Ambiance with Candlelight

We all know the days get shorter in the cooler months and there is less daylight to enjoy after a long day’s work. However, try to embrace the early nightfall and light a few candles.  Candlelight brings an instant warmth to any room and the ambiance can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Candlelight

There are some great battery powered options to ensure safety. Try a candle with a Fall scent.  I love the current candle I am using, sweet cinnamon pumpkin. Yum! 

 

Try an Area Rug

There’s nothing I hate more than my feet being cold, especially when my feet hit the cold bare floor in the mornings. Yikes! Try adding any area rug to your more traveled areas to ensure your toes are nice and cozy. Layering area rugs for an even more cozy look.

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Rugs

 

Hang Heavier Draperies 

Another idea to warm up your living area is to switch out your lighter draperies and hang heavier drapes. This will help keep out drafts and add warmth to the room. Try using a heavier weight material or letting them pool an inch or so on the floor.

Switch out Bedding

Some of you may already have seasonal bedding, Bravo!  It’s a great idea to switch over your bedding to prepare for the cooler nights to come. Layer with warm throws and additional pillows with decorative patterns or seasonal colors. It’s an instant way to transform any bedroom without the full overhaul.

 Dress your Table

Don’t forget your dinning room! While bare tables are ideal in the summer months it’s not exactly the right look for Fall. Add heavy tablecloths, runners, or even a scarf will do the trick.  It’s a great time to bring out the formal wear. It’s fun to dress up your table with seasonal decor. Add a charger under the dinner plates, use more elaborate centerpieces and heavier napkins with festive napkin rings.

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Dress-Your-Table

 

 Cozy Up the Patio

Everyone’s favorite outdoor spot here at Lake Gaston is the patio! Let’s transition this space to be used on the cool evenings with warm blankets at each seat as well as comfy pillows.  Outdoors heaters are great for these spaces and a toasty fire pit if space is allowed.  Watching the sunset can be even more enjoyable under your warm fuzzy blanket taking in mother nature’s beauty.

 Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Patio

 

With layers of throws, heavy draperies in warm tones, candlelight, fuzzy rugs, and comfy pillows your home is on it’s way to being the coziest spot on Lake Gaston. We ARE interior designers so don’t forget to enjoy the indoors just as much as we enjoy the great outdoors! We hope you have a warm and cozy Fall! Enjoy!

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Oct
08

Pillow Talk is Not Only for the Bedroom

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One of my favorite decorative accessories is a pillow.  Pillow talk is not just for the bedroom.  Pillows can talk by injecting style, color and impact into any space.

Pillows should be considered the “crown jewels” that top a chair, sofa or bed.  A “statement” pillow can be the inspiration for an entire room scheme. Switch them out with the seasons or when the fancy strikes you.  Pillows are the easiest way to change the whole look and feel of a space. However, pillows are sometimes afterthoughts, left to the end of a decorating project (not a good idea). Whatever way you use them here are some pointers.

1. How many pillows?  Use pillows in odd numbers. Three to five is the right number on the average sofa or bed.  Any larger number may create too much visual activity.pillow-outdoor-reginaedwards-assortment-red-black-gold-ezbreeze-kingsleybates-outdoor-sectional-lkae-gaston

2. How to mix Pillows?  For the most impact mix size, pattern, colors and textures that coordinate with the other elements in the room.

pillows-custom-blues-neutrals-grouping-custom-bedding-stanley-bed-kravet-trim-lake-gaston

3. How do I build a pillow-scape?  Start with the fabric and color of the object where the pillows will rest or pull an accent color from artwork or a rug.

pillows-fabrics-companyc-owlstool-turquoise-green-florals-lake-gaston-home4. What is the right size for pillows?  There is no real rule for the size but a combo of 18”, 16”, 14” or a rectangle can work.  Size and shape are dictated by the furniture.  Larger pillows 24” are more for casual lounging spaces.

Company C bedding and beaded pillows combine with long custom pillow.

5. What fabrics are most suited for pillows?  The sky is the limit for fabric selection.  Consider the type of use.  Use an outdoor fabric, such as Sunbrella, for outdoor furniture.   Silk, damask and other more fragile fabrics should be used in a space that will get less use such as a formal living room.  Family room pillows need to be constructed of sturdy, durable fabric such as cotton duck, nubby wovens or indoor/outdoor fabrics.

6. What type of pillow filling should be used?  Down/feather blend pillows are squishier.  They will have to be fluffed to refresh their shape.  A good polyfill fiber insert can have the look and feel of down but with better shape and appearance retention.  Foam (solid or pieced) pillows tend to be stiffer and less comfortable to use.  Outdoor cushions need a special polyfill that is suitable for wet conditions so water will drain through easily.

Whatever your pillow style: traditional, contemporary, classic or eclectic, let the pillows be part of your decorating self-expression…something that makes you smile!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle! 

Categories : Design
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Oct
01

Fall 2014 Interior Design Trends

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outdoor accessories indoors cotton stones mason jarWith the Fall 2014 High Point Furniture Market only a few weeks away, we are eager to see the latest trends first hand.  The style spotters have made the following predictions.  We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled to see if they are right, but we’ll also be looking for any other trends they may have missed!

Merging Indoor and Outdoor with Decorative Accents – Fall is such a beautiful time of year, so it’s no coincidence that it is a big trend right now to bring some of the beauty of nature indoors this season.  Try dried leaves, stones, cotton, or twigs.  Or collect some of each in a mason jar or antique canister for a lovely arrangement.

glamorous master bath

 

Glamour and Glitz – Clean lines, polished finishes, and luxurious touches continue to be in high demand for design clients.  Where the light colors give an airy and open feel, there are certainly no shortage of accents to finish the look off with high end class.

Metallics: Bold Gold, Brass and Mixing Metals – Metallic finishes have flourished into a wide spectrum of colors.  And throw out the rule book – combine several finishes with stainless, bronze, and pewter to name a few.

Corduroy Bear

CorduroyWoops, not that Corduroy (I guess I have children’s books on the brain)!  This cozy fabric adds a fun texture and clean lines to upholstery.  There are limitless color options and even different widths and varieties to the texture.  It’s also perfect for fall since we’re wearing more clothing to protect us from getting the indentations from the pattern on our legs and arms!

 

 

blue accents trend 2014Blues – You name the blue and it’s hot right now.  Everything from light turquoise to deep navy.  You can even mix several shades for a monochromatic look.  Blues are also everywhere in fashion right now.  I was pleasantly surprised the other day when Ryan came home with several new shirts: one in navy and another in a very handsome sea-foam blue.  He’s fashion forward and didn’t even know it!

Grays – This is still the trending neutral.  Grays are everywhere and in every shade.  Gray washes and stains are very popular in wood finishes as well.  We have also seen a range that even incorporates grays that lean somewhat into the beige family.  

 

Stay tuned for our market finds to see if these trends hold true for the styles to come!

Do you have a design need that you just haven’t been able to find?  Give us the mission to find it at market!

 

~ Autumn

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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